NCAA BK

No. 9 Syracuse beats St. John's

Syracuse Orange forward James Southerland (43) holds on to the ball while St. John's Red Storm forward Jakarr Sampson (14)
Syracuse forward James Southerland (center) gets tangled in his return Sunday.
Share This Story

   
 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP)

It took only one half for James Southerland to knock off the rust.

Then Syracuse's sharp-shooting senior forward celebrated his return to the lineup by helping sink a St. John's team that was reeling from the death of coach Steve Lavin's father.

Playing for the first time in seven games, Southerland scored 13 points, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers in the second half to give No. 9 Syracuse a comfortable lead, and the Orange beat the Red Storm 77-58 on Sunday.

''I feel confident. I feel like I took a lot of pressure off the guys just being in uniform and playing, another impact during the game,'' Southerland said. ''It definitely felt great. I was kind of hoping it came a little sooner, but I can't complain.''

Southerland missed the previous six games due to an eligibility issue regarding academics and the Orange went 4-2, losing twice in a row. He was restored to the lineup before the game after the issue was resolved Friday and played 26 minutes, going 4 for 6 in the second half after missing all four shots he attempted in a shaky first half.

''I was surprised he got going,'' Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. ''It's tough when you have a bad first half in your first game back. But he got it going.''

It was the 37th straight win in the Carrier Dome for the Orange (20-3, 8-2 Big East), extending the nation's longest active home streak in Division I. The win also extended Boeheim's NCAA record of 20-win seasons to 35.

Lavin missed the game due to the overnight death of his 82-year-old father, Cap, leaving the reins to assistant coach Rico Hines. Lavin informed his coaching staff around 9 a.m. and then flew to New York City.

''What a tough way to come out and be a head coach for the first time, huh? Losing Cap is a big blow,'' Hines said. ''He was an ambassador of the game. He loved the game of basketball. My heart was heavy all day. It was a tough day.''

The message ''Do it for Cap'' written on the blackboard in the locker room wasn't enough for St. John's (15-9, 7-5), which had won six of seven.

Michael Carter-Williams had 17 points, eight assists and a career-high six steals, and Brandon Triche had 16 points and matched his career high with seven assists as the Orange backcourt excelled. C.J. Fair added 17 points and nine rebounds for Syracuse.

Freshman JaKarr Sampson had 21 points to lead St. John's, while D'Angelo Harrison had 13 on 4-of-13 shooting, and Phil Greene scored 10. Chris Obekpa, second nationally with 101 blocks, finished with one block to go with seven points and five rebounds.

After trailing the entire first half, twice by 15 points, the Red Storm rallied early in the second. Harrison drained a pair of 3s in the opening minutes and pulled St. John's to 43-34 with an off-balance attempt from the top of the key as the shot clock buzzer sounded at 16:08.

After Southerland's dunk in transition, St. John's went on a 9-2 spurt. A corner 3 by Marco Bourgault, his only make of the game, and two straight baskets in close by Obekpa pulled the Red Storm to 48-43 with 11:45 remaining.

''We knew we were playing for coach Lavin,'' Harrison said. ''We play for him every game, but especially this one. This one hurts because we didn't win for him, but we'll see him tomorrow. We'll pray for him and do everything we can to help.''

Fair halted the St. John's spurt with a baseline runner and Southerland's pretty behind-the-back feed to Triche for a dunk in transition got the Orange rolling again.

Southerland then hit two 3s from the top of the key in a 64-second span - eliciting a roar from the crowd - and Syracuse restored its 13-point halftime lead. St. John's never got closer than eight in the final 8 minutes.

''We had momentum. We felt good,'' Sampson said. ''They had the last run.''

CHEERS!

They're part of the magic every season. Enjoy our photo-gallery tribute to college basketball cheerleaders.

And it was keyed by Southerland, who never stopped practicing with the team and never gave up hope his eligibility problem would be resolved.

''It's hard for a senior to miss games like that,'' Boeheim said. ''It's very difficult. We forget how important each game is to an athlete. It's life and death. He deserves a lot of credit.''

The Orange hit 10 of 22 from behind the arc and held the Red Storm to 5 of 22 from long range.

''As soon as he got his rhythm, he was the same old James knocking down shots,'' Carter-Williams said. ''He's a big presence in our offense. It means a lot having him back. It makes us a lot more dangerous.''

Syracuse was 14 of 28 from the floor in the first half, 5 of 11 from long range, and held the Red Storm to 8-of-24 shooting and 2 of 11 from behind the arc in building a 37-24 halftime lead.

Boeheim said afterward that freshman Jerami Grant, who had filled in solidly in Southerland's absence, would start the rest of the season. Southerland remains Boeheim's first option off the bench, and he's happy to be back there.

''I feel we're a lot more dangerous,'' Southerland said. ''It gives a lot of our guys less pressure and easier opportunities to make baskets.''

Tagged: Syracuse, St. John's (NY), Brandon Triche, James Southerland, C.J. Fair

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..